Monitoring our performance

We monitor our performance closely and share the learnings to drive improvements in our performance.

Monitoring accident rates

We report safety data from October to September. Our Total Recordable Frequency Rate (TRFR) from October 2014 to September 2015 increased to 1.12 accidents per 1 million hours worked, up from 1.05 in 2014.

There were three main reasons for this increase. The first is travel incidents. These are recordable events that occur on the roads when our employees drive designated vehicles on company time or business and have a collision with other road users, animals or stationary objects. These incidents continue to be a priority for us, supported by the introduction of our global Safe Travel standard. The second reason is our acquisition of new companies with different safety cultures. The third is a major transformation project that involved the closing down of sites in the United States.

The chart below shows our preferred accident rate indicator for reporting - TRFR – over the period 2003–2015. While we no longer use Accident Frequency Rate (AFR) for reporting purposes, an earlier trend is presented here for comparison.

Please note that as a consequence of improving our safety performance over many years, in 2009 Unilever decided to increase the denominator used to calculate TRFR from 100,000 to 1,000,000 hours. The chart has thus been re-stated using this new, higher factor which has had the effect of increasing our current and historical TRFR data by a factor of ten.

TRFR 2015 are independently assured by PwC - see Independent Assurance. TRFR is one of two occupational safety performance indicators that has been independently assured by PwC. The other is the number of fatal accidents, which is described below.

Achieving zero injuries

Some of our sites are achieving zero recordable injuries on an ongoing basis.

Our Sagamihara site in Japan, for example, achieved 4 million man hours with zero Lost Time Accidents (LTA). As a result of the safety focus by Sagamihara and other factories in the country, our Japan operations had their last recordable LTA in March 2012. They were able to do this through a strong leadership commitment to safety, aligned with effective employee engagement and clear accountability for safety at each site.

The Sagamihara site has been a strong proponent of our BeSafE and World Class Manufacturing programmes, with a focus on effective KPIs, accident prevention through risk assessment for routine and non-routine activities, and data-led action plans being developed to close safety gaps. As a result of their work, Unilever Japan received our 2015 Cluster Safety Award and was shortlisted for our Premier Safety Award.


Regrettably, in 2015, one employee and one contractor lost their lives while working for Unilever. The lessons learned from these deaths were communicated across our business.

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